This morning has been incredible. I woke up inspired and filled with the joy of the Lord. I even was able to enjoy the sunrise. As the day has progressed thoughts keep filling my mind. I have been posting a series of devotionals by Kay Warren from Saddleback Church and wife of Rick Warren a pastor and author of ‘A purpose Driven Life’. My inspiration for sharing these devotionals is because I struggle with PTSD and depression. I have good days and bad. Learning that joy is not because I have an absence of problems but that in the middle of the dark and stormy days in my life I have the assurance that God is both with me and for me. Since I know that I am not alone in my struggle and that others have their own battles and the need I have to be encouraged I want to encourage others not to give up. I have also battled suicide because my depression has been at times more than I could bear alone but thanks to God I am still here and I have a hope that I did not have before. The joy of the Lord is my strength and He gives me hope to press forward and to hold on when there is nothing I can see to hold on to. I may not be able to see Him as I can see you and you can see me but I see Him all around me if I just open my eyes to Him.
Another thing that I have just started sharing are some jokes that I am finding that are not vulgar but comical and make me laugh.Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Sharing the laughter God blesses me with lifts up my spirit. When I get to feeling down and depressed I try to find things to make me laugh. I will find a good comedy to watch so laughter fills my home. As I begin to laugh I feel the heavy weight of my depression or even my anger lift from me. It is hard to be angry or depressed for long once you start laughing. I have even laughed at myself at times. When pain and anger rises in me and I just let out a blood curdling scream. Then I hear the scream as it comes out of my mouth and wonder how many people just heard me. I live alone and I am physically small (not even 5 foot) but my voice can carry and can be very loud. When I think about the reactions of others who are with hearing distance I begin to laugh for a couple of reasons. One I may have just startled someone without meaning too and they have no idea where the scream came from, and the other reason I realize how ridiculous I must have looked and how God watching me is probably thinking, “There goes my girl again being silly”. Whether that is actually true or not I will one day find out when I get to the place Jesus is preparing for me. I have to confess there were times when I started throwing a mock tantrum in front of a child who was throwing their own temper tantrum and how they stop and stare at me like I am crazy has made me laugh so hard that they too began to laugh with me.
Am I going to continue having difficulties in this world? Yes I am. Am I going to be able to face the challenges and problems I face with a smile and laughter? No would be the honest answer but as I grow in my relationship with Jesus I will be able to do so without having to fake it. Yesterday was actually one of those days for me. I was in and actually still am in a lot of pain due to my back. Previous injuries which I can talk about later flare up and I can barely stand up or even use my hands without excruciating pain. I am in bad enough shape this week that I should have stayed home from work yesterday. My manager even asked me before I clocked in if I was going to be able to handle working. My answer was I had to make myself work because no work means no income and my bills are already more than I can pay. So I made it through my shift and carried out my work duties and served customers with a smile and a joyful voice, and if it had not been the way I was limping and the difficulties I had using my hands no one could have guessed how much pain I was in. It wasn’t until I was walking back to the building after bringing a customer their order and saw my reflection in the door that I had realized that I was actually smiling. It was not one of my fake smiles I had learned to wear as a mask to cover how I really felt. Years of working with the public taught me that the public does not want someone who looks upset or down serving them. You learn to be cheerful and smile because it is good for business. Yet as bad as I was physically feeling emotionally and spiritually God have given me a glad heart and it was showing. I was so grateful that He had done this for me that it has spilled into this day. I woke joyful and with praise to God on my lips. I tell you that this is a blessing especially since I am not a morning person. I have a spirit of ease about me today and my mood has been lifted.
There are only a couple of days left in the ‘Choose Joy’ devotionals but I will continue to share the things that bring me laughter, to share my laughter with you. So I will close this with a joke and a link to a page on scriptures about laughter. God bless you and fill your heart with joy and laughter.
chose this joke since I shared with you about how I sometimes scream
A taxi passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question.
The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the footpath, and stopped centimeters from a shop window.
For a second everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said, “Look mate, don’t ever do that again. You scared the daylights out of me!”
The passenger apologized and said, “I didn’t realize that a little tap would scare you so much.”
The driver replied, “Sorry, it’s not really your fault. Today is my first day as a cab driver – I’ve been driving a funeral van for the last 25 years”.
link for page on laughter and humor in the Bible